Buckley Field Young Marines

Est. 1995 Aurora, Colorado

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United States Marine Corps

November 10, 1775 is the official birthdate of the United States Marine Corps and the birthplace is regarded as Tun Tavern, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Continental Marines served as a protection force for the Continental Navy and spent most of the revolution conducting that mission. After the Revolutionary War the Marine Corps became an amphibious landing force that saw action in every American conflict and has been praised for their heroic actions. Historic acheivements took place during WWI at the battle of Belleau Wood, during WWII at the battle of Iwo Jima, during the Korean War at the battle of Chosin Reservoir, during Vietnam at the battle of Khe San, and during Operation Iraqi Freedom at the battle of Fallujah. The Marine Corps of today serves as a quick reaction force that is able to conduct operations anywhere on the planet within 24 hours.

Marine Corps League

The League is a veterans organization of the United States Marines. It is composed of Marines and former Marines with honorable service. It aims to perpetuate the traditions and spirit of the United States Marine Corps through continuous association of Marines who served under the Eagle, Globe and Anchor at any time, in war or peace. The League was
founded by Major General John A. Lejeune in 1923 and chartered by an Act of Congress on August 4, 1937. Its membership of over 50,000 is comprised of honorably discharged, active duty and Reserve Marines with
90 days of service or more, and retired Marines. It includes officers and enlisted, both male and female. The Marine Corps League is headed by an elected National Commandant, with 14 elected national staff officers who serve as trustees. Day-to-day operations are under the control of an executive director who supervises the day-to-day performance of the national headquarters staff, located at 8626 Lee Highway in Fairfax, Virginia.

History of the Young Marines

In 1958, a small group of dedicated Marine Corps League members in the Brass City Detachment formed the Young Marines of Waterbury, Connecticut. This early group attracted considerable attention throughout the state of Connecticut. By 1960, the original Waterbury unit had swelled from a hand full of boys to a first class youth program numbering in excess of 300 young people and over 20 adult instructors.

The success of the Brass City Detachment brought National attention to the state of Connecticut and by June of 1962, Connecticut had a youth program involving over 1500 boys in 10 cities and towns, sponsored by various Marine Corps League Detachments throughout the state. As the success of this program grew, talk of a National program intensified.
Steve Zuraw of the Valley Detachment and Commanding Officer of all Marine Corps League units in Connecticut raised more than $5,000 and flew an entire Young Marine unit to the League's National Convention in Kansas City Mo.

At this convention, the League adopted the Young Marines as a National program. The official charter was issued on October 17 1965 and thereafter the program spread throughout the country.

To promote further interest in the Marine Corps League, the intent of the writer of the charter was to have the Young Marines Program traditionally and officially associated with the Marine Corps League by means of having individual Marine Corps League Detachments located in various communities throughout the nation sponsor the establishment and operation of Young Marines units and further, by having Marine Corps League members for the "adult Membership" for such Young Marines units. Chartered as a subsidiary organization of the MCL, the Young Marines began to function independently in 1974. In 1975, membership was extended to include females; in 1977, requirements were completed with the establishment of its By-Laws, which are laws adopted by an organization, and the election of its governing body.

By-Laws were approved in 1978 at the Atlantic City convention. In 1980, the organization was granted status as a youth educational organization with an IRS, or Internal Revenue Service, classification of 501(c)3. Many units are independently chartered within their state as youth organizations. In 1995 the organization went international with the forming of Young Marine units in Okinawa , Japan


Buckley Field:

A Brief History

Buckley Field Young Marines began in 1995.  A Marine Reserve Unit founded the unit and in 1997 Former Marine Michael T. Sheppard took over as Commanding Officer.  He is still the Commanding Officer to this day and takes a very active part in the running of BFYM.  His staff is made up entirely of volunteers.  Many of which are Former and Active duty Marines.  The unit has been blessed to have Buckley Air Force base, from which it borrows its name, close by with a small company of Marines as well as Air Force, Navy, and Army members who have been or are currently volunteers. The staff is also comprised of civilians who possess skills neccessary to create a well rounded group of volunteers. While Young Marines will learn about the military in general and the US Marine Corps in particular BFYM is not in the business of recruiting.  We strive to mold our youth into the best version of themselves.  Most Young Marines go on to college and vocational schools as well as those who go on to join a branch of the military. Learn how to join the Young Marines!

Our Unit Logo and It's Meaning

Each unit in the military regardless of service has a distinguishing patch.  This patch is often placed on uniforms, coins, headquaters signs and guidon flags.  Buckley Field is no different.  Each portion of the insignia has a very specific meaning. 

The logo was reviewed by the staff, the parents of the Young Marines, and the Young Marines of Buckley Field. It was adopted by the unit as the official logo of Buckley Field Young Marines on 10 November 2002.

Our Unit Logo was designed by CO Mike Sheppard. The following is a breakdown of the significance of the individual elements that make up the Buckley Field unit patch

  1. The diamond shape of our patch was adopted from the First Marine Division in which a few of the staff served
  2. The primary colors, scarlet and blue signify the active duty Marines who assist in the mentoring of the Young Marines.
  3. The black field at the bottom is dedicated to the Veterans we assist in our community, and all Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action.
  4. The depiction of the mountains represent the Rocky Mountain back drop in our home state of Colorado
  5. The jet represents Buckley Air Force Base, BFYM's birth place and support base where most of our active duty mentors serve.
  6. The sword represents our involvement with the 3rd largest Scottish Highland Games held every year in Colorado. Buckley Field Young Marines provides the primary security round the clock for the entire length of the games.
  7. 1995 is the founding date of Buckley Field Young Marines